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I Hired a Life Coach

Life Coach - Part 1

Life Coach – Part 1

About seven years ago, back when I was still in Corporate America, my boss bought me a Christmas gift. (To be fair, since it’s Corporate America, it was probably a holiday gift, because no one is allowed to say Christmas anymore, which is annoying…)

Everyone on the Marketing team got a Visa gift-card. Not a bad gift to spend any way you like on whatever you want.

But I didn’t get a Visa gift-card.

Instead, my boss called me into his office, gave me this long spiel about how great and creative I am, how I have a strong head on my shoulders – “stronger than most,” I remember him saying.

For my gift, he pulled out an envelope as he explained he got me a life coach for Christmas. For a brief moment, it was an insult, then it quickly became comical. All my co-workers could go to Nordstrom and buy a new pair of jeans, but I got a life coach. How screwed up do you have to be to get a life coach as a gift from your boss, and was my screwed up stuff really that obvious?

Long story short, the particular coach he set me up with wasn’t my cup of tea. Not a bit. We just didn’t connect on any level, she never listened to me and she gave me homework I resented and ignored. If she wasn’t listening to me, how could she help me? The little I know about life coaches is they are not one-size fits all.

I’ve always been one to find opportunities to better myself – professionally and personally – and I’m not opposed to an occasional assignment to get me back on track. But we just didn’t work out.

Fast-forward seven years later, five of which I’ve been working for myself as a freelance sports, travel and fitness writer, and I realized I needed a life coach. I’m not just going in the wrong direction, but worse – I’m not going in any direction.

My job, my life, my relationships, my creativity – all things I used to adore about myself and my day – are all at a standstill.

Many of you may not know I fell into this role as founder/editor of The Blonde Side on accident. That same life coach gift-giving boss gave me a solid piece of advice when I first started working for him – he told me to get a hobby. Three years later when I got laid off, I used my severance and my hobby and planned to take a break. That “break” is now in it’s fifth year. But since there wasn’t a lot of planning involved or goals to set, I’ve kept going that same way.

Doing research for a recent article about goal setting, I got the chance to correspond with about 15 life coaches. Most (not all) had great things to say, and I quoted a few, but there was something about Sally Anne Giedrys with Whole Life Strategies Coaching, that struck a chord. We just connected. It was only email, but I could tell we had a lot in common.

Like most online interviews and research, there is some back and forth involved. She would give me tips and I’d ask her to elaborate so I could write about it and make sense of it for my readers.

I realized after writing that article that a life coach would probably do me good. I can’t remember the last time I set a real goal and actually worked towards it. And I think I attribute most of my decision to work with a life coach to how easily Sally and I communicated. She had the credentials, but more than that, the fact she’s a “fervent believer in practical reinvention,” and her belief in a balanced life and to live intentionally – those were all major bonus points. The best bonus of all was that she too is an entrepreneur. Unless your entire income has ever come from the lifestyle of being a freelancer/entrepreneur, you can’t begin to understand how difficult this life is. It may look glamorous hiking in Colorado and laying out on beaches in Hawaii (those parts definitely are!), but it’s hard work and I’ve sort of let things stand still. If I don’t keep pushing forward and coming up with new ideas, my bills stop getting paid. That’s not really an option for me.

So there you have it. The Blonde Side hired a life coach and has committed to giving this my all for the next three months. This is just the beginning – keep along with our journey – I’ll share my homework assignments and things I learn – maybe a few of you will join in with me. Unless of course you’ve already got all your ducks in a row and all your shit together…if so, kudos to you.